It is a strange thing to promote a book…UPDATED

I am a little late getting around to talking about the Patheos Book Club, which is currently featuring my book, among others. As I’ve expressed to some friends, I’m always really happy to promote books I like (and I like my book!) but promoting Strange Gods has been a little daunting for me. I’m not sure how to do it without sounding like this:

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Yeah, that cracks me up. But on the other hand, I’m always afraid this will happen:

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So, the book club is featuring an excerpt you can read here, and Tony Rossi’s recent interview with me was so much fun, it’s being featured here, but the “Take and Read” roundtable is looking a little thin. I’m hoping that means people just got the book late, and haven’t had a chance to read/review it, (and not that they hate it and would rather remain silent — which, who knows, might be the case!) but I am very grateful for thoughtful, insightful reviews by a few Patheosi, like Elizabeth Duffy, Rebecca Hamilton, and Greg Garrett, from the Progressive Christian channel.

Outside of Patheos, Strange Gods is enjoying two really nice reviews, today. Novelist and PJMedia contributor Andrew Klavan wrote a review so kind and generous, it really made me feel very humbled, especially as his own prose in reviewing made my own seem like so much dross:

For those of us both interested in and appalled by this moment in American politics — for those like me who sometimes look at decent people in political life and wonder how on earth they can do the things they do and say the things they say — Scalia’s chapter on what she calls Super Idols (ideologies) is a small revelation.

“Determine that the opposition is not merely wrong but evil, and suddenly mere ideas become glittering certainties. These certainties give us permission to hate and tell us our hate is not just reasonable but pure. If simple idolatry blocks our view of God, the super idol — because it is so highly burnished — makes us think we are seeing God in our hatred.”

It’s easy for me to see how such super-idolatry has led our left-leaning administration into tyrannical corruption and our left-leaning media into willful blindness and dishonesty. Not so easy is acknowledging the prevalence of this tendency in right wingers as well, even, on occasion, some who look uncannily like myself.

Yeah, humbling. I spent some time doing the “I’m not worthy” thing until I remembered that with God it’s not about worthiness but about willingness, and like Barkis, I’m willin’. Still, I was ready for Style, Sex, and Substance author Hallie Lord’s jolly review (and her recommendations on curlers I must try!) in her most recent “Five Favorites”.

And the great Dorian Speed, who I think is one of the fastest wits in Christendom made me smile when she wrote that my closing chapter was “hilarious.”

A Christian book that leaves ‘em laughing. I hadn’t thought of it that way. But I like it. A lot. And I’m really thankful for all the kind words.

UPDATE:
Andrew Klavan
is also having a nice day; he happily tweets that a sixth grade class was so enthralled with his novel The Last Thing I Remember that they they made a film-project of it!

That’s very cool. I love that this teacher reads aloud to her students (our fourth grade teacher did and I can remember how much we loved it; I can still recall whole passages of her reading because of the way it sparked the imagination). And I love that she was up for letting the kids make a film of a book they loved. No wonder Andrew Klavan is so delighted! I would be, too!

UPDATE:
Chatted this afternoon
with Melissa Clouthier and Andrew Malcolm about all of this, and also about how idolatry affects policy and social discourse. A really fun chat, and I thank Melissa and Andrew for having me as a guest! They’re splendid hosts.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • TMJC

    Ms. Scalia, I am promoting your book by walking around with it UNCOVERED! I usually put a book cover around anything I am reading in public because I don’t have the time or inclination to get into debates with every dillweed in a pub or on the subway who wants to throw down with me about the “backwardness” of the subject matter I’m reading. (Let them think I am reading 50 Shades of Shite or whatever the cool crowd is bibliographically consuming these days…whatevuh) However, I’m walking around with your book out and proud for the whole world to see. The few people who have asked about it, I simply respond with eyebrows raised to my hair line and a cryptic, “In two words: GAME CHANGER (I’ve found that people are intrigued by that phrase for some reason!) Sir or Madame, this book has been enlightening, a real wake-up call! It is holding a mirror in front of me, and I am not liking what I am seeing. I don’t think I will be the same after reading it.” and then I walk away. I know. I know. A bit dramatic and ham fisted, but hey, that is marketing for you!
    However, for the people closest to me, I am GIVING them copies. For my students, I am providing the deets in class on where to get it. It really is a terrific read. Thank you.

  • MeanLizzie

    Golly, thank YOU! :-)


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